I had never been much of a reader when I was a kid. Not so with many of my other friends. And, even till today, I have never gotten in the habit of reading books. This lack of ability to read books – really lot of text – hurts me in several areas. I wanted my kids to be beyond this. Thankfully, my son is naturally inclined to reading and he loves to read. But not so my daughter. She would avoid reading books and that was already showing in her school grades for Reading etc.
I have often felt that habit of reading books is the greatest gift parents can give to their kids, apart from the ability to question things. These two abilities can take the kids very far.
Therefore naturally I was a bit worried about my daughter as far as her reading habits were concerned. I knew though that she likes certain types of books, but she found it hard to read the fatter books – like Harry Potter series. In some ways, the size of the book often desists the reader. I know that was one of the reasons for me to leave a book alone 🙂
So, these holidays I came up with an idea. I know my daughter loves playing games on her Nintendo DSi and all the other gizmos. She is very quick to figure those gizmos out, like most kids her age. So, why not use technology and reading? And go for an e-reader? I thought of Kindle from Amazon, but luckily for me I saw a great deal for a nook from Barnes & Noble on Mastercard’s Marketplace, where you need to bid for one great deal a day and can buy it for as much as a 50% discount. As soon as I saw this deal for a nook for $75, I made sure I clicked on the deal at the right time and fast enough to get it. And I did!
For first one month, my daughter kept exploring it and downloading some samples of books and going through it. Soon, she had “figured” the entire thing well and she came up to me asking to buy a book. That’s what I was waiting for. So, I linked the nook account to my Credit Card Account and asked her to go ahead and buy the book she wanted after showing me the book on the site. I saw the book, liked it, she went ahead and bought it.
Guys, if you don’t know this, then you ought to realize that books on nook (and Kindle) are FAR cheaper than the physical books. So, the books that would cost me $14-15 were available for $6 or so. It was perfect for me. She read her first book within 2 days. My daughter loved her experience of reading it on nook. But now I demanded that she buy a “fatter” book. I wanted her reading to last at least a week!!
Since then, she has bought 3 books. Every week there is a new book which she buys and downloads. Here is the cool thing:
I have downloaded nook application on my Android based cell phone and linked to the same nook account. Which means I can access the “library” of the same books that she is downloading and that I download. I can read the books through my phone and she through her nook.
As any cheap guy, I have made sure I downloaded all the free books that sounded even remotely interesting to read.
I know that as these kids grow up, most of their books won’t be in physical form. Even the text books. There is no reason why they should be! It will be must easier for the schools and colleges to have the kids download the books from Amazon and B&N onto their e-reader and just bring that to school, instead of bring a HEAVY bag full of books! Carrying that heavy bag doesn’t make any sense at all.
I know how tough it was to get adjusted to give a test on the computers when I had to. I had been used to paper tests and it was tough getting used to that. That is why its necessary that these kids get the habit of dealing with and being comfortable with technology as early as they can. So, nook based reading is useful as an introduction for my daughter as well. And by linking my credit card account and nook account to her buying, I know exactly what she is reading!
Meanwhile things have changed in school as well. For last two report cards, my daughter has managed Straight A’s! And that brings her more awards from me. And more books.
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